Let The Overtaking Begin: Four DRS Zones At F1 Australian Grand Prix

Written By Nicole Russo on April 7, 2022
Formula 1 betting

After having a week off, Formula 1 returns this weekend for the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park. This circuit, which isn’t known for a lot of overtaking, will now be the first track with four DRS zones.

According to the latest F1 betting odds, Max Verstappen is the favorite to win in Australia and take home his second victory of the season.

2022 Australian Grand Prix Odds

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Max Verstappen
Bet now
+125
Bet now
+130
Charles Leclerc
Bet now
+145
Bet now
+150
Carlos Sainz Jr.
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+850
Bet now
+700
Sergio Perez
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+1400
Bet now
+1200
Lewis Hamilton
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+1400
Bet now
+1200
George Russell
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+2500
Bet now
+2500
Valtteri Bottas
Bet now
+10000
Bet now
+8000
Fernando Alonso
Bet now
+10000
Bet now
+8000
Pierre Gasly
Bet now
+10000
Bet now
+10000
Kevin Magnussen
Bet now
+10000
Bet now
+10000

Changes To The Track At Albert Park

Albert Park was the first track to have three DRS zones, but that still didn’t allow for much passing in previous years. Mercedes released stats on the 2019 race in Melbourne (the last time there was a race at Albert Park) and there were only 10 total passing moves.

While the addition of the fourth zone should help promote more passing attempts, it isn’t likely we will see a crazy number compared to previous races.

The configuration of the track doesn’t allow for much passing and re-passing as we saw in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. There are two pairs of DRS zones, but also only two DRS detection points between them.

Therefore, the car that passes using DRS will maintain that advantage down the straight. The changes are expected to shave a few seconds off of the average lap time and increase lap speeds by just under 10 mph.

Albert Park

New Track Should Give Slight Advantage To Red Bull

In addition to a fourth DRS zone, there are also fewer turns this year at Albert Park.

Turns one, three, and seven are now wider. They have also removed the chicane where turns 9 and 10 were.

Ferrari has been faster in slow and medium-speed turns, but Red Bull has the advantage when it comes to the straights. This new track design should give Red Bull a slight advantage.

When handicapping this race, it’s also important to look at what happened in Saudi Arabia.

Sergio Perez qualified for pole and led 15 laps of the Saudi Arabian GP. His pit stop on lap 15 came just before a safety car that gave his competitors the chance to get a cheap pit stop for fresh tires.

Perez was then in P4 but was forced to concede his spot to Sainz after it was ruled he overtook him under caution. Those watching the race know that it was a very close call.

There is no way to know for sure if Perez would have kept P1 without the safety car, but we know his car is quick from the first two races of the season.

According to an F1 data deep dive, Leclerc and Verstappen had the pace to overtake Perez eventually in Saudi if the safety car never came out, but Sainz didn’t.

With the track adjustments at Albert Park, the speed Red Bull has shown, and Perez’s trajectory at Saudi Arabia without the unlucky safety car, I like Sergio Perez (+100) in a head-to-head matchup against Carlos Sainz Jr. in Australia.

Watch The Australian Grand Prix

  • Date: Saturday, April 9 (PST)/Sunday, April 10 (EST)
  • Time: 10pm PST/1am EST
  • Network: ESPN
Photo by Associated Press
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Nicole Russo

Nicole Russo is the Brand Content Strategist for TheLines.com. Previously, she covered the gambling industries in Tennessee and Indiana as a content editor for PlayTenn.com and PlayIndiana.com. She comes from the world of poker, leading the marketing efforts for online poker in Nevada and New Jersey with the WSOP. Russo also assisted with the marketing efforts for the Caesars Sportsbook launch in 2019.

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